In the past weeks, global media has been inundated with news and updates about the coronavirus pandemics. In Nigeria, the situation is not different. At ResearcherNG, we wanted to know where Nigerians turn to for news about the coronavirus pandemic and we found that most Nigerians who follow the news about the outbreak closely, get most of their information from social media.
How did we do this?
In a survey we conducted between April 6 and April 30, 2020, we asked respondents: “What is your primary source of news about coronavirus?” and 48.3% said they get COVID19 relatedness primarily from social media while, 30.3% get from official statements made by the NCDC, 8.6% get news from TV. In another round of questions, we asked respondents “Which of these statements best describe how you follow news related to coronavirus?” And 55.8% said they have been following news about the Coronavirus outbreak very closely, while 6.6% have not been following news about the Coronavirus outbreak very closely.
Social Media is a very important pipeline for communication during a crisis and in normal times. In 2019, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) released a survey report that showed social media and the Internet are the most common sources of information for Nigerians on corruption. With over 29.3million Nigerians on social media, it has become a dependable tool for sharing information, influencing behavioral change, and holding government accountable.